The worst public health crisis we’ve ever known helped turn luxury travel editor Sophie Marchant from a globetrotting travel writer into a prolific artist, inspired by her love of nature and near and faraway places. Having never picked up a brush and painted anything more than a bedroom wall, Sophie opened a box of oils received as a birthday present, bought a canvas or two before dusting off her father’s old easel to set about painting a picture for her youngest. With more paint on the carpet than the canvas she was persuaded to move her painting to the old barn, which had once been the studio for artists Arthur Rackham and Jose Weiss.
Inspired by the illustrious company kept with past times, Sophie explored her memory bank of travels through Europe, Africa, the Indian Ocean and Asia, including a life-enhancing journey through the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan.
Sophie likes to paint on big canvasses, usually well over a metre square. Her ethereal landscapes feature her beloved South Downs or exotic scenes with endangered animals. Seascapes reflect her fascination with water, waves, clouds and the oceans and her impressionistic canvasses depict anything from a Parisian park to a magical trees.
If this wasn’t enough to keep her busy, a collaboration with German photographer Tillmann Pretscher and his father Peter, a renowned entomologist, resulted in Forgotten Beauties – she started a collection of large format artworks featuring endangered, common and extraordinary insects. This is also to raise awareness of insect’s utmost importance to our planet’s ecosystem.
While exhibitions have been out of the question during lockdown, Sophie’s work can viewed on her new website www.sophiemarchantart.com